Crawley News – Milton Mount Flats

Holes Drilled in Petrol Tanks as Vandals Strike
Fed up residents call for action after car park attacks increase
23rd March 2016 – Crawley News


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Chris Ballinger
email chris.ballinger@crawleynews.co.uk

ANGRY residents living on the doorstep of a Crawley beauty spot are calling for extra security after vandals smashed car windows, broke into garages and drilled through petrol tanks in a spate of attacks.

People living in Milton Mount flats have become targets for vandalism and in particular for fuel thefts and they are calling for more CCTV to be installed to make the area safer.

Since December there has been a spate of attacks on vehicles parked outside the block in Worth Park, Pound Hill. The latest was sometime between Thursday and Friday last week when a hole was drilled in a vehicle’s petrol tank.

Shazney Woodjetts and her husband Daniel were left with a £600 bill to fix their Renault Megane when it was vandalised overnight on February 23.

Mrs Woodjetts said: “We were victims to this evil act when they drilled right through the tank of our car which we have only had for just under a year.

Repairs

“There was £30 to £40 petrol in the tank andwe had to pay £632 for repairs. It meant we were without a car for two weeks.

“That money was to pay for our water bills and TV licence which are both due in April and also for family days out with our little boy Some selfish lowlife has taken all that away”

The couple had parked their car in one of the bays at the top of the car park when it was targeted. There have been six known fuel thefts and one resident living in the block urged people to be vigilant, by creating a warning poster which was stuck up in the main entrance to the flats.

Fuel Tank

‘Evil Act’: Shazney Woodjetts’ Renault Meganne had a hole drilled into its petrol tank

Other worrying incidents have included break-ins at the garage block in the car park, where a child’s bicycle was stolen, and vehicles’ windows have been smashed.

The driver’s side rear window of Terri-Ann Defeo’s car was smashed by a vandal at the end of last month.

Miss Defeo said: “It all seems for nothing because there wasn’t anything in the car to be taken. “We were parked in a place where we could see the car from our flat. “Unfortunately there is not really anywhere else to park especially having a young child,” she said.

CCTV

Residents have raised concerns to Crawley Borough Council. And, as the vast majority of attacks have occurred overnight, have asked for CCTV to be installed in the car park.

Locals hope that camera coverage will act as a deterrent. They have been told this is not financially viable and instead more lighting could be put in the area.

However residents don’t believe this will make a difference because one car had its petrol tank drilled when parked underneath a lamppost.

Kevan McCarthy Crawley borough councillor for Pound Hill North and also chair of the Pound Hill North Residents Association, said he is “concerned” by the attacks and he has vowed to investigate.

Cllr McCarthy said: “It is worrying to hear. This is an easily accessible location. “So whoever is doing this could be heading there from the Balcombe Road rather than necessarily being in the area themselves. I will enquire to the council about what can be done and also contact Sussex Police.”

Crawley Borough Council was contacted for a comment but had not responded by the time the Crawley News went to press.

Have you been affected by the incidents? Email email editor@crawleynews.co.uk

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